Duxbury selectmen agreed this week to meet with local, state, and federal officials regarding replenishing the sand on the Gurnet Road/Bay Avenue area of Duxbury Beach by using materials from the annual dredging of the Green Harbor entrance in Marshfield. Duxbury selectmen agreed this week to meet with local, state, and federal officials regarding replenishing the sand on the Gurnet Road/Bay Avenue area of Duxbury Beach by using materials from the annual dredging of the Green Harbor entrance in Marshfield.
Jim Ryan of Bay Avenue
asked selectmen for their help in contacting state and federal
politicians in order to find funding that would allow the Army Corps of
Engineers to use the material it dredges from the mouth of Green Harbor
to replenish the sand on this area of the beach. Ryan said that every
year this was standard practice for the Army Corps until 1991, when
some beach abutters in Marshfield refused to grant easements to allow
the re-nourishment pipe pass over their properties. These abutters were
concerned about the noise from the pipe when cobbles, or rocks, went
through, according to Ryan.
Ryan said that in the past 16 years,
the beach in front of the seawall that guards his and many other homes
has eroded by at least eight feet. When he moved in 31 years ago, Ryan
said the sand measured four feet below the top of the sea wall. Now, he
said, it is 11 feet below.
"We're losing our sand drastically
fast," said Ryan, who represented both the Webster Island Beach
Association, which is made up of residents of Bay Avenue and the
Duxbury Beach Residents Association, which consists of Gurnet Road
Replacing the sand will protect the seawall that
underwent a partial repair project in June, said Ryan. This cost
$350,000, with the town expecting a $165,000 reimbursement from the
state, which owns the wall.
"When the beach was nourished by
direct placement of sand in the past, the sea wall was protected and
the high tide rarely came as high as the seawall," stated Ryan in a
letter to selectmen. "Almost every tide now is within eight to ten feet
of the wall. All high tides at a full moon splash over the wall and
cause significant damage to property and severe sand dune erosion."
the dredged material from the Green Harbor entrance is put on a barge
that disperses it along the beach in the water.
"Some summers the sand comes in, sometimes we only get one to two feet," said Ryan.
has been in contact with the Army Corps of Engineers who indicated that
there was no funding allocated for the beach re-nourishment program.
why he was seeking the selectmen's assistance to raise the awareness of
the situation on the beach and begin the process of getting politicians
interested in helping. The beach associations have already written to
Senator Edward Kennedy, Senator John Kerry, Representative William
Delahunt, Representative Frank Hynes and state Senator Robert Hedlund.
Hynes has toured the beach site also. Ryan wants Duxbury selectmen to
write to these officials, too.
Selectmen Chairman Andre Martecchini
was willing to help bring together officials from the Department of
Environmental Protection, Coastal Zone Management and the Army Corps as
well as Marshfield officials to see what this type of project entails.
"I think we can facilitate such a meeting," Martecchini said.
asked if the owners of the beach, the Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc.,
had been informed of the residents' plans. Ryan said the trustees were
in favor of the re-nourishment plan because sand from this part of the
beach typically washes down to the public area at Duxbury Beach Park
and further to the residents' parking lot beach area.
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